Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Chances are you’ve heard of all these and countless more in your personal life, you may have your favorites, or you may ignore them all together. But in business, social media is essential. Whether it’s to create brand awareness or generate leads, social media connects your business to the world and can be an essential component of your overall marketing plan.
FIVE TIPS to help ensure you’re getting the most of your social media strategy:
Choose the right platforms for your business
Did you know that are more than 60 social networking sites? Social media platforms vary in features, functionality, and target audience, so choosing where to invest resources depends on your business and who you’re trying to reach.
For B2B businesses, it may be helpful to focus on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For B2C companies, and especially those seeking younger audiences, adding Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest may be a sound decision.
To get started, focus on setting up and maintaining three or four sites. On each one, make sure you’re listing up-to-date, consistent information about your business and that you’re optimizing your profile for each site.
For example, on Facebook you can add a “Shop Now” call-to-action on your cover. For each account, make sure your brand is represented with your logo, colors, taglines and smart copy. Be sure to link to your social media accounts from your website.
Think content, content, content
Thinking you have nothing important to say stalls you from posting anything! In reality, content ideas are all around you. Remember that YOU know your business, but your customers do not. Let them know about new products or services. Post a behind-the-scenes look at your office or facility. Weigh in on a topic that’s happening in your industry, and invite comments from others. Depending on the platform, consider adding videos or customer polls, which can be entertaining and engaging. You can always highlight information from your website – this will maximize your web content and drive traffic!
Important to keep in mind also: IMAGERY. Posts with pictures are more likely to get likes or clicks. Social Media Examiner reports that 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing.
Make social media part of your daily and weekly tasks. Depending on your audience and platform, you’ll want to post, share, like, follow, or retweet several times a day or a few times a week. To make things more efficient, create a social media calendar to generate and coordinate your posts, and schedule bulk-posts on a free software platform like Hootsuite.
Your business may lend itself to regular topics and themes. For example, if you’re an accountant, you may want to do weekly posts for “Tax Tip Tuesdays.” This lets your audience know to watch for your posts every week, and it gives you an opportunity to showcase your expertise, which can generate leads.
Pay to Play
The ever-changing algorithms used by social media platforms can make it challenging to ensure that your customers and potential customers actually SEE your content, which can be frustrating after you’ve spent time collecting and cultivating it. So placing social media ads can be effective in getting your message out there.
Most social media platforms offer advertising opportunities, and they vary based on how they look and how much you’re willing to spend. To get started, focus on which platform your customers are most likely following you.
Then, determine your business objectives: Do you want to raise awareness, increase engagement, boost traffic to your website or generate revenue? Depending on your goals, the platform can guide you through options in graphics, timelines and audience.
Finally, remember that social media is social. Just like your business often grows through word of mouth as well as networking, your business can grow by interacting, commenting, sharing, and participating in social media. This is called ENGAGEMENT and we all want it!
When you post, invite others to comment, and do not be shy about posting on other business’s pages. Posting and commenting keeps you in the conversation and top of mind to viewers. Every time they see your profile picture your brand is reinforced. Stay in the game!
In summary, social media can boost your marketing efforts and add visibility and credibility to your brand. If you’re just starting out, take the time to set up your social media accounts. Assess new and existing accounts and make sure they’re optimized for every opportunity.
Authored By Diedre Barret – Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Guaranty Bank